|Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Hua Chunying's Regular Press Conference on October 19, 2016|
Q: Some government officials from the Czech Republic met with Dalai Lama yesterday. Has China expressed dissatisfaction with the Czech side?
A: The Czech Cultural Minister and other politicians met with the 14th Dalai Lama who went to the Czech Republic for anti-China separatist activities on October 18. China is strongly dissatisfied with and opposed to this. We hold a consistent and clear position that the 14th Dalai is a political exile who has long been engaged in overseas anti-China separatist activities under the cloak of religion. We are firmly against any contact between Dalai and government officials of any country.
China has noted that regarding the meeting between some Czech politicians and Dalai, the Czech president, chairmen of the two houses of the parliament as well as the prime minister have issued a joint statement, and so has the Czech Foreign Ministry. Their statements reaffirm that the Czech government sticks to the one-China policy, respects China’s sovereignty and territorial integrity, and recognizes Tibet as part of China. We hope that the Czech side can always go towards the same direction with China, and make tangible moves to jointly maintain the good momentum of China-Czech relations.
Q: President Duterte’s visit to China is closely followed by western media, some of which try to put a damper on the visit. What is your comment?
A: President Duterte’s visit to China has indeed drawn great attention from the media. People from China and the Philippines are happy about and hold high expectations on this visit. However, some people are anxious, upset and have mixed feelings about this. It is good news for both China and the Philippines as well as regional peace and stability that bilateral relationship has come back to the right track of sound and steady development. Everyone will welcome this visit if they truly hope for peace, stability, development and prosperity in the Asia-Pacific.
Q: Will President Duterte talk with his Chinese counterparts about anti-drug issues? Will anti-drug cooperation be specified in a joint declaration?
A: China supports President Duterte in leading the Philippine people to build their country and develop the economy. We are willing to play an active part in the Philippines’economic and social development and cooperate with the Philippines in economy and trade, industrial capacity and infrastructure. It is believed that the two sides will extend and deepen pragmatic cooperation across the board and realize common development as bilateral relationship gets better and better.
The anti-drug issue as you mentioned is indeed a major concern of President Duterte. China appreciates President Duterte’s efforts to crack down on drug crimes and improve social security with the fundamental interests and well-being of his country and people in mind. We are ready to talk with the Philippine side about cooperation on drug control and fight against drug crimes. Competent authorities of the two countries are in communication on this.
Q: Vietnamese vice defense minister met on Monday with the US Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for South and Southeast Asia, saying that Vietnam supports U.S. intervention in the Asia-Pacific if it helps keep peace and stability. According to the report,this is a “timely endorsement of a continued US presence amid uncertainty over Washington's faltering pivot”. How do you comment?
A: We have seen relevant report. As we learn from the past and the present, sovereignty, security and development interests of a country should be decided and upheld by its own people. Likewise, peace, stability and prosperity of a region should be jointly maintained by regional countries through negotiation and cooperation, not by the so-called “intervention” of one or a few countries.
Q: US Defense Secretary Ash Carter wrote on Foreign Affairs that China plays by its own rules and excludes itself on the seas and elsewhere. Lots of countries have expressed concerns. What is your comment on this?
A: We have noted relevant report, in which some remarks are repetitive and not worth commenting. I would like to tell you that as an old Chinese saying goes, a man of virtue will not be isolated. As everyone can see, China has always been upholding and contributing to the international rule of law and order. But I would like to emphasize that the rules should be ones made upon consultation and accepted by all, rather than ones fabricated by certain country for its selfish gains and imposed upon others.
The South China Sea became restless not long ago, with some people from the US playing a bad role in it. Currently, the situation in the South China Sea is moving towards a positive direction thanks to the joint efforts of China and some ASEAN countries. It is hoped that certain people from the US can step out of the past, and make real efforts to safeguard China-US relations and regional peace and stability.
Q: When talking to the Chinese media on October 18, President Duterte said he is considering buying weapons from China. Do you expect to see enhanced military cooperation between the two countries?
A: China develops its relations with other countries including the Philippines in accordance with the five principles of peaceful coexistence, expecting such relations to be conducive to regional peace and stability. As our bilateral relations keep improving and our mutual trust enhanced, our cooperation will cover a wider range of areas. As I mentioned before, China is willing to cooperate with the Philippines on drugs control and fight against drug crimes and terrorism.
Q: It is reported that some Japanese cabinet members visited the Yasukuni Shrine today. Do you have any comment?
A: The Chinese side is strongly opposed to some Japanese cabinet members’ visit to the Yasukuni Shrine, which honors Class-A WWII criminals and whitewashes the war of aggression. This once again reveals the Japanese government’s wrong attitude towards history.
We urge the Japanese side to look squarely at and deeply reflect upon its history of aggression, make a clean break with militarism and take tangible actions to win the trust of its Asian neighbors and the international community.
Q: Japanese Foreign Minister Fumio Kishida said on October 14 that Japan has been urging the UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) to improve its heritage program’s screening process, and has decided to withhold this year’s financial contributions to UNESCO. Reports say that this move is a response to UNESCO’s listing of Chinese documents relating to the 1937 Nanjing Massacre as a Memory of the World. What is your comment?
A: The Nanjing Massacre is a heinous crime committed by the Japanese militarists during the WWII. It is a historical fact recognized by the international community. The inclusion of the Nanjing Massacre documents to the Memory of the World Register fully complies with the screening criteria of UNESCO, and will help us remember history, cherish peace, and champion human dignity.
Paying membership fees is an obligation member states of international organizations should fulfill. Japan’s words and actions once again expose its erroneous attitude of refusing to face up to history. It is irresponsible for Japan to pressurize UNESCO by withholding its dues, and such attempts will not succeed.
Q: Can you give us more details on President Duterte’s schedule for today?
A: President Duterte’s activities in China have already been worked out. Today, President Duterte will meet with Philippine nationals in China and Chinese business representatives. He will begin his meetings and talks with Chinese leaders starting from tomorrow. President Xi Jinping will hold a welcome ceremony for him, hold talks with him and stage a welcome banquet. Premier Li Keqiang and Chairman Zhang Dejiang will meet with him on separate occasions. Moreover, Vice Premier Zhang Gaoli and President Duterte will jointly attend the opening ceremony of the China-Philippines economic and trade forum.
Q: What kind of discussions will Chinese and Philippine leaders have on the South China Sea issue tomorrow? What consensus does China expect to reach on this issue? Will the China-Philippines joint declaration include specifics of the consensus?
A: Before embarking on his visit to China, President Duterte has told the media many times that he will come to China to talk more about friendship and cooperation and make a soft landing for this issue. We hold a consistent and clear position concerning this, advocating and committing ourselves to properly resolving relevant issues with countries concerned through dialogue and consultation.
We also notice that President Duterte has been saying that he sincerely trusts China and hopes to properly handle relevant issues, expand bilateral cooperation and turn a new page for bilateral relations through this visit. China and the Philippines are returning to the right path of properly handling relevant issues through bilateral dialogue and consultation regarding the South China Sea issue. Friendly neighbors are supposed to get along with each other in this way. For China, we have our own judgment about who is our friend and make our own decision on what issues should be addressed in a friend-to-friend way.